John Silvester Varley

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John Varley
Born (1956-04-01) 1 April 1956 (age 66)
Warwick, England
EducationDownside School
Alma materOriel College, Oxford
University of Law
Known for2017 SFO fraud charge
Titleformer CEO, Barclays
PredecessorMatthew Barrett
SuccessorBob Diamond
Carolyn Thorn Pease
(m. 1984)
RelativesSir Richard Pease, 3rd Baronet (father-in-law)

John Silvester Varley (born 1 April 1956) is an English banker who was the group chief executive of Barclays from 2004 to 2011.

Early life[edit]

John Silvester Varley was born in Warwick.[1] His father, Philip, was a solicitor in Coventry. Varley was educated at the Catholic Downside School[2] at Stratton-on-the-Fosse south of Bath, becoming head librarian, then at Oriel College, Oxford (MA History),[2] and London's College of Law.[3]


He became a solicitor with Frere Cholmeley (which became Frere Cholmeley Bischoff and was then bought by Eversheds in 1998) in 1979.[4]

Varley joined Barclays in 1982, as part of the Corporate Finance Department of the then Barclays Merchant Bank.[5] Senior appointments with the successor bank, BZW (now Barclays Capital), included Deputy Chief Executive of BZW's Equity Division and head of BZW's offices in South East Asia.[5] In 1995 he became Chairman of the Asset Management Division and from April 1998 to October 2000 was Chief Executive, Retail Financial Services.[5] He joined the main Barclays board on 5 June 1998 and was Group Finance Director from 2000 until the end of 2003.[citation needed]

On 1 January 2004, Varley became Group Deputy Chief Executive, and on 1 September 2004 he succeeded Matthew Barrett as Group Chief Executive of Barclays. His annual salary from Barclays was £1,075,000.[6] On 1 January 2011 he was succeeded as Chief Executive by Robert Diamond.

As of 2013, Varley was a trustee of The Prince of Wales's Charitable Foundation.[7]

In June 2017, following a five-year investigation by the UK's Serious Fraud Office covering Barclays' activities during the financial crisis of 2007–2008, Varley and three former colleagues, Roger Jenkins, Thomas Kalaris and Richard Boath, were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud and the provision of unlawful financial assistance.[8][9][10] In June 2019, the SFO cleared Varley of fraud charges.[11]

Personal life[edit]

In 1981 he married Carolyn Thorn Pease, daughter of Sir Richard Pease, 3rd Baronet, and in so doing married into the Quaker Pease family, whose bank became part of Barclays in 1902.[12][13]

His sister-in-law is the hedge fund manager Nichola Pease, who is married to hedge fund billionaire Crispin Odey.[14]

They have two children.[15] They live in Brook Green in Hammersmith, West London, and own a country house in Hampshire.[16][17]


  1. ^ Moore, Malcolm. "Barclay's chief executive John Varley defends banking industry". Telegraph. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b Treanor, Jill (15 June 2007). "Ping pong-playing banker chases a world ranking". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 January 2008.
  3. ^ Blackhurst, Chris. "The MT interview: John Varley". Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  4. ^ Jill Treanor (15 June 2007). "The Friday interview: John Varley, chief executive of Barclays | Business". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "John Varley (Chief Executive 2004-2010) | Barclays Group Archives". Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  6. ^ "John Varley Profile". Forbes. Archived from the original on 25 January 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2009.
  7. ^ "About Us," The Prince of Wales's Charitable Foundation Archived 24 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 1 May 2013.
  8. ^ "Barclays charged with fraud in Qatar case - BBC News". 1 January 1970. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  9. ^ Jill Treanor (1 January 1970). "Senior Barclays bankers charged with fraud over credit crunch fundraising | Business". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  10. ^ Ben Martin, banking correspondent (16 June 2017). "Ex-Barclays boss faces 22 years jail if guilty of fraud". Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Former Barclays head cleared of fraud charges". BBC News. 21 June 2019. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  12. ^ Carolyn Thorn Pease
  13. ^ Jacques, Martin (23 April 2009). "The strangest bank of all". Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  14. ^ "How The Pease Dynasty is linked to the credit crunch | Business". The Guardian. 7 December 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  15. ^ 8:02AM BST 7 September 2010 (7 September 2010). "Barclays: John Varley biography". Telegraph. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  16. ^ Evening Standard (21 January 2009). "The fat cats and their bonus bonanza | London Evening Standard". Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  17. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. 20 June 2017. Retrieved 22 June 2019. {{cite news}}: Cite uses generic title (help)

External links[edit]

News items[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by Group Chief Executive of Barclays plc
Succeeded by